Land and Resources, Plants and Animals
tonka beans, peccaries, tapirs, cinchona, lignum vitae
The indigenous flora and fauna of Colombia are as varied as the topography. Mangroves and coconut palms grow along the Caribbean coast, and the forest regions, which cover about one-half of the country, include such commercially useful trees as mahogany, lignum vitae, oak, walnut, cedar, pine, and several varieties of balsam. Tropical plants also yield rubber, chicle, cinchona, vanilla, sarsaparilla, ginger, gum copal, ipecac, tonka beans, and castor beans.
Among the wildlife are the larger South American mammals, such as jaguars, pumas, tapirs, peccaries, anteaters, sloths, armadillos, and several species of monkey and red deer. Alligators, once numerous along the principal rivers, have been intensively hunted and are becoming scarce. Many varieties of snakes inhabit the tropical regions. Birdlife includes condors, vultures, toucans, parrots, cockatoos, cranes, storks, and hummingbirds.
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